Best plants for a sump. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going to be starting a 150 gallon african cichlid tank and I want to have plants in a sump to help remove nitrates. I was wondering what the best plants for this would be. The water will be around 80 degress, 7.8 pH, and fairly hard. Also, what kind of lighting is neccesary and should I inject co2? Thanks for any help you can offer.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 03:05 PM
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See my FAQ, you want the plants listed as algae busters since they grow very fast.

As for how much lighting, how big is the sump? You are going to need around 3 wpg to do it right as the plants that grow the fastest are stem plants. The problem is that if you inject CO2 it's going to lower the pH. You have to consider that you have a closed system here. You might be better off with ~2 wpg and some green hygro, hornwort, and water sprite. It won't be pretty but it would work. And of course you could control nitrates the old fashioned way with water changes.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. I still plan on doing water changes but since I'm going to college in two years I won;t be home and I doubt my parents will do weekly water changes. I think the sump will be about 50 gallons. Also, I thought it would be interesting to have some live plants and I may even keep some mollys in with the plants. Will this work or will the mollys destroy the plants?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 04:42 PM
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No they won't destroy the plants, they'll just breed like crazy! You should use Egeria densa, Ceratopteris thalictroides, Hygrophila polysperma and Ceratophyllum demersum to fill up your sump. Don't you think you can save yourself some money by just using a Fluidized Bed Filter than to spend more money running a sump...Anyways, good luck with your tank and keep us posted!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. The breeding will be good because I'm going to keep predatory haps so I want some live food for them. Shpould I inject co2 at all or just go with 2 watts per gallon?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 06:08 PM
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I seriously can't tell. Is your 50g going to be packed with plants, I mean basically there is no room for anything else. If that is the case, personally I would inject C02 to keep my plants growing. But if your going to have mollies and a moderately planted tank then I wouldn't...
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-25-2003, 08:47 PM
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I was just thinking... (yea, dangerous I know) but instead of actually planting the sump, what about using another tank to grow the plants in but is using an intake and return to the sump.

I was just thinking that as it may make keeping the sump cleaner, pump free of plants / roots, and also allow you much easier access to maintaining the plants, as well as picking a tank that will be much easier to light very efficiently.

Sorry if this idea sidetracks your thread, but I figured the addition cost and work early (the time before you leave for school) will return easier maintenance after you leave for school?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2003, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thats actually sort of what I was thinking. I may have a main sump with a 55 gallon plumbed to it with plants.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-26-2003, 06:07 PM
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I have a tank that is very close to the maximum amount of fish for tank size and I have Limnophila sessiliflora (ambulia), Hygrophila Polysperma (green hygro), and Anacharis all under modest lighting ~1.5 wpg no CO2 and I need to suppliment NO3 and phosphates as these plants suck them up like mad and grow like weeds, but personally I do not recommend the anacharis as it roots very poorly which makes it a total pain in my butt to keep in planted but the Krib does list it as ok to be grown as a floating plant if you like that, but I personally do not find it to be a very appealing floating plant.
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